Weeks after Lions center Dominic Raiola called out an anonymous NFL general manager for making disparaging remarks without identifying himself, the attacks became more personal, yet still anonymous.
The entry at ProFootballWeekly.com, in an article attributed to NFL scouts, coaches and executives who provide quotes on the condition of anonymity, read like this:
"I saw (Lions C) Dominic Raiola called me out, asking who the aimless, anonymous GM is who criticized the great Lions. ‘Who is this person?' It's the guy who rejects you everytime he watches your tape and thinks you are a complete fraud. It's the guy who didn't think you could play when you came out of college and still doesn't think you can play now. … If he spent as much time working the other muscles in his body as he does his jaw, he might have had the chance to be an average backup. You can put that in print."
This afternoon, the editor of Pro Football Weekly issued an apology to the Lions organization and to Raiola via an e-mail to a reader who had commented on the story, which was shared on detroitlions.com
Hub Arkush's email read:
"You know what? You're right and I hope you will accept my apologies. As the Publisher and Editor here this was totally my responsibility and I failed Pro Football Weekly, my staff and our readers.
"The Audibles section has been a thorn in my side for some time as I personally have several issues with it, but it is also one of the most popular features we run and the majority of our readers love it so I find myself stuck between a rock and a hard place. I can absolutely guarantee you every word in it comes from over – the – top credible sources but the restriction on getting such gritty, truth – off – the – bone commentary and analysis is if our sources agreed to be quoted most could lose their jobs. Do we give our readers this great, insiders' analysis and commentary with our guarantee of the quality of the sources, or do we give you none of it because it is anonymous? I suspect you love it when it's done right and not about your team.
"This was not done right. The original commentary on the Lions was fair and reasonable, as was Raiola's reaction. But when Raiola called our critic out and we allowed him/her to take a second, personal and yet still anonymous shot at Raiola, that was over the line. You have my promise, we will do better. I've blind copied Martin Mayhew, Bill Keenist and Matt Barnhart, the Lions Director of Media Operations so that they can see my apology and in the hopes they will share it with Raiola and let him know that I would like the chance to apologize to him personally as well. I believe we get it right here 99% of the time but when you're wrong, you're wrong and I really appreciate you calling it to my attention. You are free to share this e – mail with whoever you like. Thank you, and thanks for reading PFW and taking the time to comment."